Select Page

Fabricated realities. Only smaller.

What this about then?

I like making stuff, a fact since early childhood really – bastardising things, taking clocks, cameras and old radios to bits and making ray guns, fake machinery out of the bits, building complex future landscapes in sand and mud in a childhood mate’s back garden or building cardboard cities, peopling them with figures, ruined cars, making stories out of it. I also made a lot of models, like most kids of that age at the time I was that age it was mostly military with odd forays into sci-fi, lots of planes, lots of tanks and vehicles, and a fair few dioramas. A card table, some lovely glue, and paint and a pile of plastic bits, proper tongue sticking out, breathing hard through your nose thinking about nothing other than that thing stuff.

I didn’t have a train set, but I had another friend that had an entire loft full of it , built by his dad and he shared with his brothers, except it wasn’t because we used to pull the ladder up behind ourselves, or drop spiders on them to make them go away. We spent months up there over a period of about 3 or 4 years populating it in a probably quite crude but fun way with cars, houses, and figures, mostly built out of whatever was handy, landscaped it with fine sawdust mixed with poster paint. It was a beautiful imagined world with tunnels, rows of houses, multiple complex tracks and painted scenery.

We were in our early teens by now, I also had grand plans with the same friend – circa Star Wars and after first watching Dark Star and Silent Running and so on. We decided to build all the models for a strange and wonderful Science Fiction film we never wrote, which we also never filmed on a borrowed Super 8. There were so many madcap schemes we had in our heads its a bit bewildering, I still think about the planned full sized space craft cockpit we were going to build, and wonder what happened to the blasters I made out of scrap pine and black emulsion. Then suddenly I grew up, put it all in the loft and went to art college where I could be much more po-faced about making things. Shortly after that I stumbled into a job teaching community groups; a mix of disabled and able-bodied, and kids who had been excluded from school how to make stop-motion animation, bits of film-making and photography, it was excellent. Building the sets was one of the best bits, days spent cutting up balsa and accidentally gluing it to myself while making room sets and furniture to film, and hours making clay figures. Then it all stopped, I had to get a job that paid better and drifted into what I still do which is mostly designing and making things, with hobbies which are pretty varied but still do, and always have encompassed making and doing and mending.

Life prevented any forays back into model-making proper for a long time, children, no money, cheap terrible houses that needed upkeep, being in bands, writing, learning various things from plastering to the banjo, I taught myself carving at one point, always the music making and endless scribbling, and always a need to make things even if it was a hi-fi unit out of pallets or a dolls house out of ply from a skip – we still have the dolls house, I think I must have given the unit away along with a lot of other daft shit I made or mended. Then along came Kid D, and he really needed to do some Warhammer, so I sat there at the dinner table and painted a billion dwarfs with him. I found I enjoyed it, knowing the techniques already I could teach him things like dry-brushing, and other tricks to detail things. Then he suddenly hit that age I had where he liked music more than painting tiny figures so he stopped, and I started to build stuff again, mostly biplanes initially, then some larger figures, a few planes I liked, then a truck, a car, and I was fully bitten by it.

The way my mind tends to work means I hyperfocus on certain things and immerse myself in them, it rotates, but the thing with making things it’s always there in one form or another, although I’d got bored of anything militaristic long ago, that is how the market tends to function for inexpensive hobby modellers. It wasn’t working for me, so I started scratch-building, and here we are.

I make what I see, I am a collector and watcher, I think I also inject a bit of myself into these amalgams of the remembered, the spotted and the passing. I’ll probably dip in and out of it until the day I die.

Anyway keep an eye on it, I will start adding bits, and eventually will also add some progressives so hopefully other people can get some idea of how to do it and can have a go themselves.